Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court Pick, Could Trigger Shift on Guns

By David G. Savage With the addition of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court could have a conservative majority to strike down bans on semiautomatic weapons in liberal states and to decree that law-abiding Americans have a right to carry a gun in public. Although the fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination has mostly focused on abortion and health care, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court could have a rapid impact on the national debate over gun control _ a topic the high court repeatedly has avoided wading into in recent years. Does the Second Amendment Protect Assault Weapons? 4 Courts Said No. Are Massachusetts Gun Laws a Model for the Country? Which States Are Most Dependent on the Gun Industry? If Roe v. Wade Is Reversed, These States Already Have Laws That Could Ban Abortion What Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Mean for States’ Rights The issue highlights a central difference between an earlier generation of legal conservatives, including many Reagan-era appointees, who emphasize judicial restraint, and today’s more activist conservatives who say they are enforcing the original meaning of the Constitution and are willing to use it to block liberal legislation from the states. Kavanaugh’s record puts him in the activist group. In one notable dissent, for example, he argued the Constitution prohibits a state from banning so-called assault weapons. A decade ago, the court, in a 5-4 opinion written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, ruled that the Second Amendment protected the right of individuals to […]

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